Table of Contents

The Maltz Family

By Julie Maltz Borman

Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy photographs without permission.

 

 

My Grandfather, Herman Maltz was born  May 22, 1889 in Dombrad, Hungary, which is in Szabolcs County. He spent most of his childhood in Kisvarda, close to Dombrad. His father, Vilmos was a shoemaker. His mother, Chana Moskovitz, and his father Vilmos, never left Hungary. They died in Kisvarda before the Holocaust. Herman came to the United States when he was 16 years old on May 24, 1905, according to the Ellis Island records. He went to live with his mother Chana's brother, Mor (Morris) Moskovitz in Cleveland, Ohio. Shortly after his arrival, he saw an advertisement in the newspaper for a free trip to California. The Santa Fe Railroad was offering a free ride to anyone who had a bag of tools, to help rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. Herman took the offer, but was shocked when he got there and saw the devastation. It was beyond his expectations. He only stayed a short time, but knew that some day he would return to California and build is life there.  He returned to New York City and continued in the shoe business.

In 1919, he noticed an attractive woman who took the same bus as he did every day. Her name was Dorothy Engel. She noticed him too, but thought he was "a dandy" because he dressed "so fancy" with spats on his shoes. Eventually, he gained her trust and walked her home from her bus stop.

Dorothy was born in Pennsylvania January 30, 1894. Her parents, Isadore Engel and Emelia (Molly) Schwartz,  were both born in Hungary (Saros County). They met and married in New York City. (Dorothy was the only child born in Pennsylvania). Dorothy was the oldest of six children, and Isadore was a contractor on construction sites. In a tragic accident, he fell from a scaffold in 1916 and died in Fordham Hospital, leaving his family penniless. A huge burden fell upon Dorothy as the oldest child,  and she worked as a milliner and a seamstress to support the family.

Meeting Herman and hearing his dreams of moving to California offered Dorothy a new life. On May 27, 1919, they were married while they lived at the Hotel Cumberland on 54th Street. There are many photos of their honeymoon journey through the United States: Atlantic City, Washington, D.C., and Colorado. By 1920 they were living on South Vermont Street in downtown Los Angeles,  and Herman was in the wholesale shoe business*). By 1925, Herman had found a financial backer (William Weiss) to open West Coast Furniture. William Weiss had made his fortune in the plumbing business and was looking for another investment. Herman was hardworking and honest, so they formed a partnership. My grandfather was also a member of the Masons.

My Grandfather owned Maltz Furniture store on Western Avenue for many years and the family lived in that area. My father, Perry,  was born in that neighborhood in 1925. Then they moved to Beverly Hills, and my father and his brother went to Beverly Vista Elementary School, which is still there.

They went on to Beverly Hills High School. The family belonged to Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a reform synagogue in the mid-Wilshire area.

A photo of my father, Perry Maltz, his brother Ivan (later changed to William), and their father, Herman. The boys are wearing  military school uniforms. My grandmother was building a new house at 317 South Oakhurst Drive in Beverly Hills, and my father and his brother were too difficult for her to handle. She enrolled them at The Pacific Military Academy in Culver City behind the old Adohr Milk factory (near Castle Heights). It was started by Colonel Harry Culver and closed in the 1940s. My dad remembers other Jewish and non-Jewish boys there. While the Oakhurst house was being built, the family lived in another house Dorothy had built at 1627 Middleton Place in downtown Los Angeles near Maltz Furniture Store at 201 South Western Avenue. The area around Western Avenue was a Jewish shopping area with Kosher markets and restaurants.

Family at house on 317 South Oakhurst Drive, Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills High School Track Team, circa 1940

This is Herman standing in front 61 Malibu Colony Road. A storm had washed away the beach.

 

In the early 1940s, Herman's brother Yano (Eugene) came to the United States from Hungary. He lived with the Maltz family and was trying to save enough money to bring  his wife Sari (Sarolta, a form of Charlotte), and their young son, Imre, over from Szerencs, Hungary, Zemplen County. Yano was an Orthodox Jew who prayed all day at home. Finally, Herman told him that in the United States  no one stayed home and studied Torah all day. Yano had to  look for work. He went into the jewelry business. But before he was able to save enough money, word came that the Jews of Hungary had been deported to concentration camps. Sari and Imre were never heard of again. Yano was devastated and never remarried. He died in 1945 and is buried at Beth Olam Cemetery.
 


Herman's death from cancer in 1948 devasted the Maltz family. The boys sold the furniture company and invested in real estate because Dorothy had always done so well with her houses and real estate investments. She had saved money every month from the furniture sales, and her investments made the family secure. Herman and Dorothy are buried at Beth Olam Cemetery in Hollywood.

*(1920 Census)

Home

Copyright November 2002. All Rights Reserved

Please send your comments, corrections, suggestions and research contributions to nholden@interserv.com